TOKYO—Japanese messaging-app operator Line Corp. said it had set its price range for an initial public offering in Tokyo and New York next month at 2,700 to 3,200 yen $26.50 to $31.50 a share.
The planned IPO will likely be one of the biggest in Japan since Japan Post Holdings Co. and two financial units fetched around $12 billion in November.
Owned by South Korean internet company Naver Corp., Line currently boasts 218 million monthly active users and operates Japan s most popular mobile messaging app.
In recent years, Line has expanded to provide other services including streaming music and taxi hailing as it competes with bigger rivals including Facebook Inc. s WhatsApp and Tencent Holdings Ltd. s WeChat.
And in the U.S., where there are already similar services, it could face more difficulty generating demand in the long term, and the current turbulence in the markets won t help, he said.
Created in 2011 as a free chat app, Line has grown into a social-content platform, which generates revenue thanks to the stickiness of its core messaging service that features cute cartoon stickers.